The Top Gun actor, 59, stepped back from the spotlight during his battle with throat cancer

By Ale Russian
July 09, 2019 10:32 AM

Val Kilmer continues to make public appearances after stepping back into the spotlight.

The Top Gun actor attended a charity basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday. Kilmer, 59, was wearing a shirt that said “Don’t Hate, Debate” and the customary scarves around his neck following trachea surgery.

The appearance follows another he made early last month at a fundraiser for his TwainMania Foundation, created to educated children on author Mark Twain’s legacy.

Kilmer’s slow return to the spotlight comes as he is set to hit the big screen again in Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to the 1986 classic. Last summer, Tom Cruise gave an update on his friend and costar, saying it was “special” getting to work with Kilmer again. “He’s doing really well,” Cruise told Extra.

Val Kilmer
Splash News Online

Kilmer’s comeback role in the film arrives after what has been a mysterious Hollywood hiatus for the actor. After years of rumored health problems, he finally opened up about his battle with throat cancer during a December 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

His health issues first became apparent in January 2015, when a spokesperson told PEOPLE that he was rushed to the hospital “for a possible tumor.” Soon after, he took to Facebook to deny having a tumor, saying only that he “had a complication.”

Kilmer finally opened up about his cancer recovery to The Hollywood Reporter in December in an interview alongside his children with his ex-wife Joanne Whalley: Mercedes and Jack.

The article revealed that the actor’s two-year fight with throat cancer had “taken its toll” on the family and noted that Kilmer had undergone a procedure on his trachea which made his voice raspy and left him short of breath.

Top Gun: Maverick opens June 26, 2020.